Celebrate with Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes …. because we need to celebrate moments in our lives every chance we get!
Digilit Sunday is hosted by Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche. Today, Margaret asks us to reflect on the word “refresh”.
We have a month and a half to go before the last day of school, but summer thoughts have seeped into every nook and cranny of our classroom it seems – my students are restless, and hungry for lazy summer days. On some days, I have to fight the urge to shutter our window blinds, so that I will not have to catch pairs of eyes gazing longingly out at blossom covered treetops whispering, “Wouldn’t you rather be out here?”.
We have a month and a half to go before the last day of school, and there is still much to do: book clubs to finish, our Civil War Unit, the multi genre writing pieces we’ve just begun, new poems to relish, and new books to lose ourselves in.
We have a month and a half to go before the last day of school…and, much as I know that my kids love their lives in Room 202, they love summer better.
Margaret’s invitation today read:”It is time to hit the refresh button, time for winding down, relaxing, reading, and reflecting…How will you hit the refresh button?” I read this message, and at first thought, well, I can’t think summer quite yet…I’ll just sit this DigiLit Sunday out.
Then I remembered Julieanne Harmatz had posed for our Voxer group, when we were discussing our kids and their pre-summer restlessness: “What intrinsic things are there that we can do to create that motivated person we want our students to always be?” I have been wrestling with this question all week, wondering whether the answer to this might best be left to summer and next year.
I looked at my calendar again, at all the dates marked for this lesson or that event, and thought, I need to refresh now more than ever!
So here’s how I refresh, right now!
First, I continue to read up and refresh my teaching practices – Katherine Bomer’s brilliant new book (reviewed for TWT yesterday here) has rewired my essay writing brain entirely, and I am going to set aside the tired old five paragraph format for a writing venture that’s new, bold, and true. I refresh by trying something new.
Next, I turn to the book my friend Kimberley Moran had just sent me – Penny Kittle’s The Greatest Catch: A Life in Teaching. Initially, I had thought that I would reserve this for a summer read – it would be a kick back, put your feet up, sit on the porch with a cool drink sort of read. But, I made the mistake of looking through it and chancing on this quote:
Teaching is about honor and goodness and mercy. It really is. And no one will be watching you most of the time. You either live up to the calling of the profession or you don’t, and most likely no one will ever know but you. But it matters because the kids are counting on you.
Penny Kittle (The Greatest CIatch)I
Many of my sixth graders are coming into their better student selves only just now, after almost a whole school year of prodding and nudging and dragging (all the unmeasurable and therefore unevaluated work we do every school day). This is not the time to loosen our class structures and expectations. So, I refresh by staying true to my kids, to the work we do.
Summer is still a long way off … but I celebrate that we are still together for a little bit longer…we find a way to refresh, even so.